Best-ever butter chicken

Create your own version of everyone's favourite takeaway meal with our incredible butter chicken recipe. Aromatic and authentic with the perfect level of spice, this dish is a fantastic option for a winter dinner.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking
  • 3 hrs marinating
  • Serves 4
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For more dishes like this, take your pick of our favourite curry recipes - they are so easy to prepare but full of punchy flavours.


  • 1 cup unsalted raw cashews
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 kg chicken thigh fillets, halved
  • 80 g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 400 g can tomato purée
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup cream


  • 1
    Dry-fry the nuts in a small frying pan, stirring, until nearly brown. Add garam masala, coriander and chilli; continue stirring until the nuts are browned lightly.
  • 2
    Blend or process nut mixture with garlic, ginger, vinegar, paste and half the yoghurt until the mixture forms a paste. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in remaining yoghurt and chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • 3
    Melt butter in a large saucepan; cook onion, cinnamon and cardamom, stirring, until onion is browned lightly. Add the chicken mixture; cook, stirring, for 10 minutes.
  • 4
    Stir the paprika, purée and stock into the chicken mixture, then simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • 5
    Discard cinnamon and cardamom. Add cream; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.


This is a great pie filling, too. Add 2 chopped large cooked potatoes and 100g baby spinach leaves to the butter chicken. Spoon the filling into a deep pie dish and top with a sheet of puff pastry. Brush with beaten egg, pierce two air holes into the top, and bake in a 220°C oven for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.